Sunrise over a small village in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
How did I get to be in that incredible place? And why am I telling this story now, in the middle of this RA/Fibromyalgia Season of re-learning my place?
Another word-sharing-session with my counselor brought me to the place of remembering. I told her that I still wanted to be up and doing and walking away my anxieties. I am not finding the PEACE here that I thought I should have attained by now. So my Counselor asked if I could take a walk through the memory hall of my mind. The same emotions that were triggered during the actual pleasant times can be triggered again, proven by studies, simply when we remember those times.
Shortly after she proposed a time of remembering, a new Blog-Friend of mine found out that I had taken a God-Planned-Adventure to Vietnam, and she stirred up these very memories when she shared her own Adventures. Thank you Valerie, at gracewithsilk for asking to hear about my story! So today I am walking over the land that a healthier and stronger me was allowed to witness.
I was probably 17 or 18 years old when I had a vision while I was praying. I saw myself in an Asian Village, being so thankful to share in a love that was God-given. I assumed I would be a Missionary. But my life took a different turn, and decades later, as a stay-at-home Mom, I found myself wrapped up in the story of my Pastor and his Wife, trying to adopt a baby from Cambodia. I prayed and agonized with them through a very long and difficult adoption process. When they returned with their beautiful baby boy, I sat amazed by the pictures in their slideshow. It looked like the Asian Village in my vision from so long ago. Tears rolled down my face, as I felt the Lord say that I had been in that village with them through my praying. Ahh beautiful, I thought. Now I know why I had that vision. End of Story.
But God’s endings are not the same as ours. Another decade later, and this time our oldest son took a trip to Vietnam with his new friend. We didn’t know that a possible marriage with his friend’s sister was in the itinerary. But again, Jesus finds ways to let a Mama know how to pray. On the very night of the marriage, half-way around the world, my heart was burdened to pray for my children’s spouses, with an urgency like never before. So when our son came home and asked us to pray with him so that his new wife could get a VISA to come to America, my heart had already been prepared.
Years of praying, and crying, and waiting were finally answered in the spring of 2011, when her VISA was approved. When we finally met our new daughter-in-law, loving her was easy because my heart had been captivated before she ever set foot in America.
So when she asked me to go with her back to Vietnam for a Family Reunion Party later that fall, I thought my heart would burst.
Breakfast time in Vietnam means noodle soup (not cereal) and tea (not coffee.)
A trip to the market across the street from the family’s house happened daily. Even when I thought I would lose my way, my daughter-in-law held my hand and treated me with honor, so that I knew I was in the safest place I could be.
This Grandma, (51 at the time,) managed to stumble into the flat-bottomed boat for a ride down the river. When God calls out the Adventure, we never know where He will lead us. As a 17 year old, looking for a future of purpose, I thought I knew what LOVE looked like. I thought I would be the one teaching those around me what God’s Love looks like. But HE is the teacher, and HE knows how to plan the future that will bring about HIS Beauty in every place HE leads us.
Sometimes Beauty looks like a small table, child-sized by American standards, set with simple fruit, prepared by the hands of a family that speak a language you cannot understand, opening their hearts for LOVE to be shared.
My journeys now feel large when I can take a day-trip involving a 3 or 4 hour car ride. But my times for Adventure are not finished. When I let Jesus plan my journey, whether through chronic illness or healthy travels, HE will set my feet in the good place of HIS choosing: Finding BEAUTY and LOVE each step of the way.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus” Ephesians 3:20-21
I’m thankful to be sharing my remembering-story with a group of other great bloggers over at #TellHisStory. Won’t you check out their stories as well?